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  • Writer's pictureBrett

BD Collections and What I Learned In Its Failure

Updated: Feb 28, 2022

At the start of 2021, I had plans to make BD Collections was a project I had created as a way to be a creative outlet for me. What I did was every few weeks, I would take photos during my walk in Boston. Then, I would spend the next couple of days working on photoshop by creating these cool photoshop tricks. Then I would post it on my instagram. I put most of my work on this webflow site.

The home page has this to say:

Whenever I’m asked about how did I get interested in design. The answer I always give is in my free time growing up, I would take a blank document on Photoshop and just start creating things. I didn’t really have a purpose or anything but it did teach me how this program works and the craft behind design in general. This was where it all started for as a creative.

One of my favorite things to do in Boston is walk around and take photos of the beautiful landscapes that are around me every day. Since I consider photography to be a hobby of mine and do it for fun, I’ve been hesitant to include it in my portfolio. But on the other hand, I really want to show off. This is where I show my experimentation and exploration.

I want to showcase my photos and my compositions and pretty soon if you feel so inclined, you can buy prints of these pictures. I even have some video of my process in making these photoshops.

Each photo has it's own information about it and what gallery it was a part of and what photoshops I made. The idea would then be that I would be able to sell these images and with clips of my process making these. Maybe making it into an NFT, once I figured out how to make that work.

My plans were thwarted because I got busy with Climate Trivia and a few other projects I can't share with right now. Also when I posted on Instagram, these photos weren't getting the traction that I thought it would make.

But I wanted to use this blog post to explain why else this didn't work.

1) Planning

This is perhaps the biggest one. One of the things I've learned while making Climate Trivia has been that making a plan and structure is important to getting things done. There are days where I hate structure, however that really is my ADHD talking.

For BD Collection, my plan was Step 1) take pictures that are interesting of Boston. Step 2) make interesting manipulations in photoshop using those photos. Screen record while I do that Step 3) Post on Instagram Step 4) Profit???

While I only posted on Instagram for about a month, I wasn't getting as many likes on the post as I wanted. The most likes I got on one post was 10 likes, which isn't bad. If I had posted more, I might have eventually hit some traction. But I didn't have a plan for when that happened. Would people really be interested in buying photoshops of my work? Maybe. But that's not really a plan.

2) Story Telling

All of that lack of planning has led me to realizing these photos weren't resonating with people because it wasn't connecting with people. Why should they care? I couldn't give you a good answer for that.

People are fascinated by stories. It allows us to connect with the world around us and relate to others without being involved. We get to live vicariously through stories. It's ultimately how we communicate with each other and in turn, makes the world work. Stories are everywhere, not just in books, tv shows and movies.

I had an interesting story on the webflow site about how this project is essentially me going back to my roots. I grew up by messing around on photoshop and this project is essentially my ode to Boston. To be fair, I had a plan that in each photoshop, I'd write a story out and I'd also include a video of me making that photoshop. I think it allows the user to understand my process.

However, what I don't think would have worked is that I didn't really have a reason for taking these photos and I definitely didn't have a reason for making photoshops of them. If I can't figure out why I'm doing it than it's hard to make any one else care.

3) Marketing

This is kind of a combined reason of a lack of planning and not a compelling story. To be fair, I never got to this stage. I had a plan and always put marketing to the end because I couldn't figure it out. But the thing is marketing shouldn't be saved for last. If I had spent more time thinking on why this could work or not work, I might have been able to pivot. Marketing is important in every successful product and it just wasn't big on my to do list. I could have talked to more people but ultimately my idea wasn't great and it failed.

As mentioned, I got busy with other things. I do believe in the process and I might have been able to figure it out, if I had stuck with it. But sometimes it's good to give up on things that just aren't working as long as you know why.

I might get back to BD Collection eventually but if I do, I'll make sure to plan and market better and work on story telling in the future.

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